7 Best Camping Spots in South Africa

With its diverse landscapes, wherein rolling hills bleed into magnificent mountains and lush, green grass turns to fynbos-covered terrain, South Africa makes for wonderful, varied camping opportunities.

Better still, SA has great camping spots spread across its many provinces, so whether you wish to be tucked away in the mountains, sleeping next to the whoosh of the ocean or lighting a campfire alongside the river, here are some of the most well-known and/or not-to-be-missed camping spots to try:

1. Storms River Mouth Rest Camp (Western Cape)

Found within arguably one of South Africa’s most beautiful and verdant regions, the Garden Route, Storms River Mouth Rest Camp – which spans some 5km towards the Tsitsikamma National Park’s eastern shore – allows guests access to 80km of undisturbed, rugged coastline, and comes with every necessary camping comfort.

Facilities include: a communal ablution block and kitchen, restaurant and store, as well as the added bonus of a Laundromat.

Experience rich birdlife in the forest and if you’re lucky, you might see otters and other native animals too, as you camp inside of the special Tsitsikamma National Park.

Tsitsikamma
Photo credit: YouTube

2. Cape Vidal (KZN)

Experience camping in the exceptionally lovely Isimangaliso Wetland Park. Cape Vidal is a small campsite with only eight sites. This pristine coastal campsite offers wonderful beaches, hikes, and it comes with ablution facilities and electricity plug points.

Outdoor activities to partake in include: snorkelling, fishing, swimming, bird watching, sunbathing, beach walks and even whale watching.

You may also catch sight of hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffalo, loggerhead and leatherback turtles, frolicking dolphins and perhaps even some whales too.

3. Gariep Dam (Orange River)

Gariep Dam Campsite, which lies midway between Cape Town and Johannesburg, can be found some 200km outside of Bloemfontein. Enjoy camping near South Africa’s largest dam, which fortuitously borders a vast nature reserve, with many roaming zebra and buck species, by the same name.

The campsite, which offers 122 sites in total, includes sixteen accompanying ablution blocks, as well as braai areas and an on-site restaurant. Outdoor activities to experience include: a host of watersports, fishing, and game watching and/or sunset cruises by boat.

stoney ridge
Photo credit: Izak van Niekerk

4. Stoney Ridge (KZN)

Located in the Natal Midlands, among some 6000 acres of natural beauty on a private game farm, you will find the Stoney Ridge Campsite. It lies near the Bloukrans River and, aside from the obvious bird and game watching one can enjoy, there are also great 4×4 trails to try too. The campsite offers ablution facilities, and there is a restaurant on the premises as well.

5. Mazhou Campsite (Limpopo)

Found within the Mapungubwe National Park – a World Heritage Site – this campsite is small and exclusive, offering just ten peaceful campsites for camping enjoyment. Head for a sunset/night drive or explore the park via a guided heritage walks, which will even take you to a graveyard up on the Mapungubwe Hill.

Campsite facilities include: ablutions, power points (at each of the ten sites) and a communal kitchen.

6. Sterland Caravan Park and Campsite (Northern Cape)

Found in the star gazing capital of South Africa (and indeed, possibly in the southern hemisphere in general…), Sutherland, this campsite really will allow you to camp under a sky full of stars, after a long evening around a roaring campfire. Located just out of town, the campsite has seven stands tucked into tidy, 2m Muisbos enclosures.

Facilities include an ablution block (with a washing area and warm showers), with electricity at each individual stand. Enjoy relaxing, braaing and watching the stars, and don’t forget to visit the SALT Observatory up on the hill during the day or perhaps even for some pre-arranged, nightly stargazing.

Karoo
Photo credit: karoospace.co.za

7. Yellowwood Forest Campsite (Eastern Cape)

Found alongside the Inchara River’s banks, a mere 1km away from the beautiful Morgan Bay beach, this campsite is one for the bird lovers and nature fanatics out there. Enjoy relaxing near or swimming in the river, identifying birds, heading to the beach, relaxing in the tea garden, where children can experience the fun, on-site play area, or snack on light meals and wood-fired pizzas.

Facilities include: ablution blocks (with toilets, showers and hot running water), as well as campsite electricity points.

Each campsite offers a unique experience, be it relaxing alongside a river, pitching your tent within a national park and/or World Heritage Site or lying beneath the brightest stars visible in South Africa, so make sure you check these off your camping to-do list in the future.

Content Created by Speckled Egg Digital Team.

Top Places To Visit In South Africa

Twelve Apostles

South Africa is an ecologically, cultural and historically rich, vibrant country that is filled with hundreds of amazing places to see and visit. We here at AccommoDirect know how difficult it can be to choose not just your next destination, but also the places to go and see while you’re on holiday, which is why we have put together 27 of our favourite South African places to visit on your next getaway! Comment below and tell us your favourite ‘must-see’ South African locations.

Western Cape

Table  Mountain
Table Mountain

 

Table Mountain
If you are visiting Cape Town, it’s hard not to miss the iconic mountain which in November 2011 was named one of the seven wonders of the world.

Cango Caves
Taking a trip to the Oudtshoorn or the Swartberg region? Then the Cango Caves are not to be missed! The caves are a geological wonder and the extensive tour offered is designed to show it off at all it’s best angles!

The Big Tree at Tsitsikamma forest
The tree is estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old. The tours and walks offer an enchanting and relaxing trip to remember.

Eastern Cape

The Iconic Hole in the Wall
The Iconic Hole in the Wall

 

Addo Elephant National Park
Founded in 1931, the Addo Elephant National Park houses more than 600 elephants as well as other wildlife. Being the third largest park in our country, it would be hard not to give it a miss!

Hole in the Wall
Another great natural occurrence, a pilgrimage to this fantastic site is often on to scratch off a nature lovers bucket list. With a fantastic beach to soak in the sun and get wet!

Baviaans Kloof
As of 2004 it was declared a World Heritage site, it’s no wonder due to the vast areas unspoiled by man sporting marvelous land forms, a diverse array of plants and many kinds of wildlife.

Northern Cape

The Big Hole Kimberley
The Big Hole Kimberley


The Big Hole
Between 1871 and 1914, up to 50 000 miners dug up the hole in a rush for diamonds. Today it is a geological marvel and a great tourist site in Kimberley. There’s more than just history to enjoy here!

Augrabies Falls
Derived from the Khoi word “Aukoerebis” which means “great noise”, the sheer size, volume and sound experienced by the falls is a marvel in it’s own.

Namaqualand Flower Route
With almost 4000 different species of plants, every year offers a different configuration in flowers along the route. Come between August and September to witness this bombardment of color and spectacle for yourself!

Gauteng

Cradle of Human Kind
Cradle of Human Kind

 

Lion Park
First opened in 1966 it has since expanded from being a lions-only attraction. Being able to come into contact with the king of the jungle himself and his cubs, there are great memories to take home here!

Gold Reef City
If you are going to Jozi, one thing you can’t miss is this supreme amusement park. Themed around the gold rush that started in the 1880’s, it offers atmosphere amongst fun and relaxation.

Cradle of Humankind
Housing one of the largest collections of human fossils dating as far back as 3.5million years ago, you will be nothing short of fascinated by our existence on this planet and how far we’ve come.

North West Province

Sun City
Sun City

 

The Lesedi Cultural Village
For a spectacle of traditional African culture, you can visit the Lesedi Cultural Village over night with one of the traditional families that reside there. Giving you a great window into the lives of others.

Sun City
Sun City has won many awards and houses incredible accommodation as well as a plethora of activities to choose from. You can escape ordinary life and feel like you’re living in your own lost city!

Hartbeespoort Damn Snake & Animal Park
For a relaxed day amongst beautiful surroundings, you can also see some of South Africa’s greatest snakes as well as animal handling in action. A must visit for someone going to the North West.

Mpumalanga

Gods Window
God's Window

 

God’s Window
Definitely one of the most incredible views in the whole of South Africa, the name is very fitting. On a clear day you can even see as far to the Lebombo mountains on the border of Mozambique.

Kruger National Park
Probably the most popular game reserve in South Africa. You can be sure to witness the big five here as well as South Africa’s most beautiful wildlife. You can’t say you’ve seen Africa’s real side once you’ve come here!

Lowveld National Botanical Garden
Remaining green through out the year due to heavy rainfall, you are sure to witness lush plants and over 2000 different species of flora. This is one sure way to reconnect with nature!

Kwazulu Natal

Howick Falls
Howick Falls

 

Drakensberg
It only makes sense to visit the tallest mountain in South Africa while you’re in Kwazulu-Natal. With a plethora of activities to choose from, your visit will be anything but dull.

KZN Battlefields
Don’t be fooled by the picturesque landscape as the history involves the bitter conflict between Britain and South Africa. You can dive back into our past and enjoy some of the history that has built our country today.

Howick Falls
A principal tourist attraction of Kwazulu-Natal, it is a must see, not only for the luscious scenery and majestic waterfall, but the history that surrounds.

Limpopo

Sunland Baobab
Sunland Baobab

 

Warm Baths Bela Bela
Bela Bela was built around the natural hot springs in the area, giving rise to the resorts and natural baths you can enjoy.

Alpha Omega Cave
What makes this cave different, is that it’s man made and basically an entire art piece. Inspired by the holy spirit there is much to enjoy and be observed by the tours that run here.

Sunland Baobab
This popular tourist attraction is well deserved as a unique and magnificent artifact of nature. Due to hollowing in the tree dating as far back as 1650AD, there has been a pub and wine cellar established in the tree for your enjoyment.

Free State

Tiger Canyons
Tiger Canyons

 

Oliewenhuis Art Museum
With a large array of historical and contemporary art pieces, you can enjoy a casual visit to soak in the artworks and relax. A must visit for those in the Free State!

Tiger Canyons
As an attempt to introduce a self sustaining tiger population out of Asia. This offers a unique outlook on nature outside our beautiful country, as well as personal walks with the Tigers which is sure to be something magical!

Anglo Boer War Museums
Believed to be the only one of it’s kind, it offers a peek into a unique part of South Africa’s history with very knowledgeable staff who are sure to tell you all you want to know about the Angle Boer War as well as where to find the battlefields.

Top 5 NYE Parties Around South Africa

With this year coming to a close, a lot of us are still scrambling to make plans on what to do this New Years. With so many options and beautiful locations to choose from, we cut through the noise to find you the best places to smash into 2015 from all over South Africa…and they won’t disappoint!

Cape Town

If you’re spending your holiday in Cape Town this festive season, and looking for something slightly closer to nature (and not so littered with people), we suggest the New Years Eve Concert at Kirstenbosch. Picnic under the stars while famed SA artists Arno Carstens and Mango Groove are playing you into the New Year.

 

If you’re looking for more of a grand urban party, Nu World Eve: Time Travellers’ ball is for you! Hosted by Vaudeville Cape Town, it offers an atmospheric Bohemian feeling as well as various artists and DJ’s to keep your feet stomping well into the night.

 

St Francis Bay

If you find yourself in St Francis Bay on New Years, you have to check out The Ruins 5fm New Years Eve Concert. Now in it’s 13th year, and with some of our great current local acts such as Zebra & Giraffe, Niskerone, Haezer and The Kiffness playing, it’s set to be an awesome party.

 

Karoo

Experience the Karoo in a little town called Nieu Bethesda and find yourself at the New Years Festival of Lights. Hosted at the Bethesda Art Center, you’ll be able to craft your own lanterns and parade around with other locals and visitors for a truly atmospheric and special intimate New Years.

 

Johannesburg

If you decide to spend your New Years in Joburg, be sure to check out the New Years Eve masked ball happening at Cantare in Montecasino. You will be treated to a vintage cabaret show and fine dining with competitions running through out the night. Ypi’ll also be able to stroll through the rest of the Montecasino and partake in the other glorious New Years Festivities taking place throughout the night.

 

Drakensberg Mountains

Want to go somewhere a little different this New Years? How about surrounding yourself with the majestic beauty of the Drakensberg mountains? If that’s where you heading, be sure to check out the Smoking Dragon New Years Festival! With a wide host of great artists performing over 3 days, a market and other festivities and the backdrop of one of South Africa’s most incredible views, what more could you want? Oh and did we mention kids under 12 get in free…

 

As always you can find the perfect accommodation for these above places HERE!